Philipsburg, St. Maarten - January 22, 2024 - St. Maarten and Saba's vibrant Caribbean culture, creativity, and craftsmanship took center stage during the first-ever Beer, Art, and Music (BAM) Festival held at the Seaview Beach Hotel on January 19th and 20th. The event, organized to showcase the best of locally made products and island talent, featured an impressive lineup of craft beers, visual arts, and diverse musical performances.
Craft beer enthusiasts were treated to 9 unique and flavorful brews, including beers from Pelikaan Brewery, SXM Beers, and the new Saba Cloud Top Beer. The festival served as a platform to promote these exceptional products, fostering a sense of pride and support for the promising craft beer industry in St. Maarten and Saba.
In addition to the celebration of craft beverages, the festival highlighted the rich tapestry of local artistry. Attendees experienced a diverse range of artistic expressions, from paintings and sculptures to handcrafted candles, body products, and jewelry. The emphasis on locally made products aimed to stimulate the growth of the local creative economy.
The two-day extravaganza featured engaging workshops, including "Sip and Paint a Pint" guided by the talented Jolie Duzon, and "Sip & Paint Your View" led by Saban artist Mary Thielman. The Festival also had representation from Saba’s Sea & Learn Foundation, whose roots stem from its month-long environmental awareness program and also include cultural heritage projects and art workshops.
The festival's musical program showcased an eclectic mix, ranging from the melodic tones of the steelpan and the enchanting sounds of the African Kora to the beats of DJ Prince and live performances by Squall Rock Band, In the Mix Band from Saba, and One White Chic.
Event-goers also enjoyed a myriad of activities such as beach volleyball, a beer, art & music trivia, a live mural creation by Nica Labelle, and beer and food pairings, providing an immersive and interactive experience for all attendees.
The festival experienced a dynamic turnout, reaching a notable peak on Saturday afternoon when live bands graced the stage. The Boardwalk in Philipsburg, home to the Seaview Beach Hotel and the focal point of the event, witnessed a significant surge in foot traffic, successfully achieving one of the festival's primary objectives - drawing attention and a diverse crowd to both the boardwalk and the event.
The Beer, Art, and Music Festival played a crucial role in supporting the local economy, aligning with the principles of the orange economy which refers to all business rooted in creativity, involving things like art, culture, research, science, and technology. By showcasing and promoting local talent in the realms of craft brewing, visual arts, and music, the festival contributed to the cultural and economic development of St. Maarten and Saba. The event brought together Caribbean cruise ship passengers, island visitors, and the local community, fostering a sense of community and pride in the unique offerings of the region.
As the Boardwalk in Philipsburg continues to witness increased live events, the Beer, Art, and Music Festival stands out as a shining example of how cultural initiatives can contribute to the revival and flourishing of local economies. The success of this inaugural event underscores the importance of continued support for the orange economy, recognizing the economic value of cultural and creative industries in the region.
The Beer, Art & Music Festival will be an annual event and will return for 2025 with the support of its partners Saba Tourist Bureau, Pelikaan Brewery, SXM Beer, Sea & Learn Foundation, the inspiration behind Saba Cloud Top Beer, Makana Ferry and Aqua Mania Adventures. For more information on the event and how to participate contact firstname.lastname@example.org or follow @beerartmusicfestival